Day 12: Monday
13th January 2014
Focus: WAR AGAINST PRINCIPAL BARRIERS TO THE MOVE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (Part 2)
Texts: Romans 8:1-11; Matthew 16:22-23
INSIGHT FOR EFFECTIVE PRAYING
There are many barriers to the move of the Holy Spirit either in individual life or in the Church. However, we shall zero on two principal barriers namely – the flesh and unbelief.
Flesh Or Self
Flesh is a major barrier to the move of the Holy Spirit. Flesh not only gives place to the devil but creates room for the devil. It opens doors for the devil. That sinful nature builds a bridge for the devil in your life. Flesh is a terrible enemy of every child of God. Flesh is too wild and wise to be tamed by human efforts. The sinful flesh has sinful passions and desires (Gal. 5:24). And those sinful passions bear fruits of death (Rom. 7:5) the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit.
Flesh also means self (Titus 1:7), the old man (Eph. 4:22), sinful nature, carnal mind (Rom. 6:6-7) Adamic nature (Rom. 5:12) the sin which dwells in me (Rom. 7:17-20).
Flesh or the sinful nature is an inherited inclination and tendency to sin.
Why Flesh Hinders The Move Of God
Flesh or carnality is a bend from God toward sin. An unyieldedness to God, His plan, purpose and standard. A disposition to reject God’s word and violate His law.
The manifestations of the flesh or carnality are as follows: Pride or exalted feelings in view of your success; position, gift, education and beauty. Too much pride. Desire to expose the body to public view and draw attention to one’s self. Being easily annoyed by unimportant things. Being easily angered. Unpleasant feeling in view of the success or prosperity of others. Show resentment over someone else belongings or achievements. Unforgiveness, Disobedience, Gossiping, fault-finding and criticism. Proneness to think on what is wrong. Prejudice and narrow mindedness. Material mindedness. Revengeful feelings or impulses to retaliate. Unbelief. Love of human praise. Self will.
Truly, unless we conquer flesh, we cannot get the best from the Holy Spirit. Walk in the Spirit; yield yourself completely to the Holy Spirit.
Unbelief: Lack of faith (Heb. 3:19; Mk. 6:5-6) Jesus Christ marveled at the unbelief of His people. Because of this, He did not do any mighty works while He was there.
Lack of faith hindered the working of miracles in Jesus’ home town. Unbelief in the Church will hinder the working of His power. God cannot work where there is unbelief. Unbelief shuts God out, it pushes Him away and refuses to let God’s love and power work.
Unbelief is a great barrier to enjoying the miraculous. Your unbelief will cut you off from the power of God. Your unbelief will make it hard for the power of God to work in your life.
Unbelief is absurd and unreasonable. It is the parent to all other iniquities and crime among born again Christians. Unbelief murders every virtue while faith fosters it.
Beloved, unbelief hinders the move of God. It blinds one to God’s greatness and magnifies once weakness. While faith looks ahead with courage, unbelief looks back with complaint.
LET US PRAY
1. Father of grace, let the Spirit of life in Christ deliver me from the brutal tyranny of sin and death.
2. Holy Spirit, deliver me from the obsession of self and flesh, help me to stay focused on God.
3. Holy Spirit, give me the grace to be absorbed in the things of God.
4. O Lord, give me the spirit of discernment, to discern between the voice of God and that of the devil, so that I will not hinder the move of the Spirit in my life and Church (Matt. 16:22-23).
5. Holy Spirit, help and deliver me from the power of sin that keeps sabotaging my best intention and effort to please God.
6. O Lord, forgive me of the sin of pride and deliver me from the spirit of Satan.
7. Lord Jesus, deliver me from the strong obsession for worldly pleasure and affairs.
8. Holy Spirit, purge my heart from the critical spirit and give me the spirit of positivity and optimism.
9. O Lord, forgive and deliver me from the stubbornness of heart that makes me not to believe in You.
10. O Lord, forgive and heal me of my unbelief.
11. Holy Spirit, cause me to be filled with all the fullness of God.
12. O Lord, pour out Your Spirit upon GOFAMINT until every wilderness becomes a fruitful field and the fruitful fields, a forest.
DAY 2: MONDAY 13TH JANUARY 2014
FOCUS: THE HOLY SPIRIT AND MY FAMILY
INTRODUCTION: Once there is a divine visitation, it is incumbent on us to sustain it and hence have a divine habitation. God prefers to manifest His presence regularly among His people if they befit His holy habitation. No wonder the Lord told Joshua, on their way to Canaan, “Sanctify yourselves for the Lord will do wonders among you” (Joshua 3: 7). Let us keep our homes and families holy for God’s continuous habitation and we shall be experiencing signs and wonders on daily basis (Acts 2:42-47).
Also, a family that engages in continuous worship and adoration of God will enjoy divine habitation. What can you say about the situation of your family in this regard? How can we allow the Holy Spirit to move upon us like in the Upper Room experience? (Acts 2:1). Can we affect the Church positively if we have Divine Habitation in our homes?
1. Love proven with obedience is the key to experiencing continuous manifestation of God’s presence. Can you discuss on how best we can employ these two attributes in activating God’s habitation in our homes?
2. ‘Home’ is a permanent dwelling. It means the habitation of God’s presence among His people. Discuss negative attributes and characteristics of our lives that can hinder God from making our homes His habitation.
3. “Hearing what the Spirit says to the Churches” (Rev. 2:1-7) is a sure way to maintain appropriate spiritual environment in our homes. How can we become so ‘busy’ and ‘dogmatic’ to the extent of not listening to the Holy Spirit today? How do we return to our first love of God’s habitation among us?
4. The first and greatest commandment of God is stated in Mark 12:30. How can we, as members of a family, ensure that the love of God takes precedence over our actions and pursuits? When we give our best and all to God (heart, soul, mind and strength), how does God respond to us in terms of His holy habitation?
5. The Lord Jesus and the early Church practiced divine habitation of God consistently. Discuss along the following lines on how we too can enjoy divine habitation:
§ The Lord Jesus, our model in prayer, prayed with all His heart and He always prayed. God also responded to His prayer always.
§ His prayer after the baptism drew God’s presence. The manifestation of God’s presence was visible and audible to people (Luke 3:21-23).
§ His extended prayer on the mountain of transfiguration drew God’s presence. His appearance was transformed (Luke 9:28-29).
§ Build a habit of praying with all your heart and praying always, you will experience character and situation transformation in God’s presence (Acts 12:5-7).
§ The EarlyChurch offered constant prayer for Peter when he was put into prison unjustly. God commissioned an angel to deliver him miraculously from the prison.
§ Determine to wrestle with tough situations or issues in fervent prayer continuously and you will experience the manifestation of God’s presence to deliver you out of difficulty.
6. Read Mark 12:30 again and discuss the following points with respect to divine habitations in our families.
§ God requires you to love Him “with all your heart, soul, mind and strength”.
(a) Loving God with all your heart is giving Him the highest place.
§ The heart is the place where you make commitments and exercise faith on a person. How can you compare it with entering a marriage covenant that lasts for a lifetime?
§ Love Him all the time, at all places and no matter what happens. What is important to Him must also become important to you. Discuss
(b) Loving God with all your soul is being zealous for Him.
§ Zeal is the strongest state of affections. Zeal for the house of God drove the Lord to cast out people who were merchandising in the temple (John 2:17). Give instances of zealous families in the Scriptures (Acts 10:3-4; Deut. 9:9-25; Num. 25:1-11).
(c) Loving God with all your mind is having the mind of Christ (I Cor. 2:16).
§ Uphold the Word of God in your life. Think the way He thinks. Love what He loves and hate what He hates. Refuse contradictory values of the world and let His word be your thoughts. God will guide you continually (Rom. 12:2). How do we exalt God above every thought, imagination, value, concept and principles? (I Pet. 5:5-7).
(d) Loving God with all your strength is serving Him with your best effort.
§ Put top priority on building God’s kingdom and preaching righteousness (Matthew 6:33) and give God your whole-hearted service (Col. 3:23-24). Do we seek to do our best for Him now?
7. Repent and Return to your First Love (Rev. 2:1-7). Discuss the points below and how it can help us to maintain God’s holy habitation in our families.
§ “Repent and do the first works” means they had to forsake some activities irrelevant to revival and return their focus to those activities that had ushered in revival. How can we be busy here and there and yet miss divine approval?
§ The lampstand is the manifestation of God’s presence in a ministry. If they fail to heed this warning, the Lord would remove the lampstand from its place. Failure to loving God whole-heartedly will cause the end of a fruitful ministry and the death of revival!
§ It is possible for a person to be so busy for the Lord’s work but his heart has departed from loving Him. What happened to the Ephesians came gradually and not suddenly, unknowingly and not intentionally.
§ It is possible to be so involved in obeying the second part of the Great Commandment-to love people fervently-but lose the first love for the Lord.
§ Avoid presumption and allow the Holy Spirit to search your heart. Are you walking with the Lord as closely as before? Are you still sensitive to the Spirit when you are popular? Are you sad and broken if your anointing dwindles, though you are speaking in more meetings? Discuss these issues as it affect divine habitation. Remember the sad state of Samson: “…he did not know that the Lord had departed from him” (Judges 16:20).
To have God’s holy habitation in our homes, we must love God all out, because He first loved us all out! Every member of our homes must therefore:
§ Love God with all their hearts and give Him the highest place.
§ Love God with all their souls and be zealous for Him.
§ Love God with all their minds and have the mind of Christ and
§ Love God with all their strength and serve Him with the best efforts.
For all the above to be possible, the Scriptures say “it is not by power or by might, but “by My Spirit, saith the Lord” Zech. 4:6. As the ark of God’s covenant settles in our homes, every member of our family shall experience breakthrough in different endeavors. Let us therefore make our commitment to God for every family member during this prayer session. God bless you.
LET US PRAY
1. Lord, as we repent of our backsliding, we ask that the presence of God will tabernacle over our live and homes in Jesus’ name.
2. Let our homes become Your dwelling place O God and every evil altar or covenant erected in our homes be replaced by God’s altar continually.
3. Let every strange fire that has been kindled by any member of our family be put off and let the mercy of God prevail and renew His holy fire amidst us.
4. O Lord, make us vessels of honor for Your glory, as You purify us from all uncleanness that we may be fit for the Master’s use.
5. O Lord, give, us the hunger to know Your Will and thereby work for You, and make us to be committed to You with all our resources.
6. O Lord, make us understand more fully how You want us to live and when to take our exit in the name of Jesus.
7. Lord, as we stay in Your presence continuously, let the pillar of cloud and fire protect our homes as it were, with the children of Israel in the wilderness.
8. Lord, grant that there will be mighty revelation of Your glory as the waters cover the seas (Hab. 2:14).
9. Pray that God will rend our heavens open, come down on our behalf and make all mountains to flow in His presence (Isa. 64:1).
10. Make declarations for yourself as follow:
(i) Let my tongue become an instrument of God’s glory in Jesus’ name.
(ii) Make my hands and my feet an instrument of divine prosperity.
(iii) Let my eyes be anointed to become instrument of divine revelation.
11. Pray that every prince of Persia (Dan. 10:12-13) that has sealed up our heavens due to one circumstance or the other (Deut. 28:23) should be paralyzed and blasted by the Holy Ghost Fire.
12. Declare that since you are a temple of the Holy Spirit, and it is the power of the Holy Spirit that raised up Jesus from the dead, then every dead organ in your body or in your general system should receive life permanently in Jesus’ name.
13. As Isaiah encountered Your glory in the temple and his life was transformed, so transform our lives by Your glory O Lord, as we stay continuously in Your Presence.
14. During the dedication of Solomon’s temple, the glory of God came down, so may You visit us again even as our ministers will be ministering in their offices in the name of Jesus.
15. Lord, I will not listen to the voice of the hireling so that You will constantly open my ears to the voice of the Holy Spirit and give me the grace to follow.
16. Now, open to II Kings 1: 9-10 and pray that you will live the mountain top life this year. You will not come down, you will not deteriorate or reduce.
17. Pray against every spiritual hindrance by the enemy against your mounting to higher altitudes. Remove every blockade placed by the enemy against your higher grounds.
18. Hold someone’s hand again and pray aggressively, “Holy Ghost fire, begin to arrest every spirit of fear, doubt and deceit in every department of my life so that I may be in Your dwelling place”.
19. Confess that against all odds, overwhelming success will come your way, and you will be a golden report and testimony before this year runs out.
20. Lord, separate any “Lot” from my life who will be a hindrance to the lifting up of my eyes to see my breakthrough (Gen. 13:14).
21. Begin to give thanks to God that these prayers will move you from minimum to maximum, obscurity to limelight and from poverty to prosperity as you continue in the presence of the Lord.